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Stanley Harding Stevenson

Stanley Harding Stevenson, age 87, of Buffalo, formerly of Cokato, died Friday, May 30, 2008, at Park Terrace of Buffalo.

He was born May 2, 1921, in Minneapolis, the son of Nels L. and Louise (Amundson) Stevenson. Stanley was baptized Aug. 17, 1921, and confirmed in 1934.

He grew up on a small farm one mile south of Cokato, the fourth generation Stevenson to live in Cokato. Growing up in a rural area, he loved to hunt and fish, and was known as an excellent marksman.

He attended grade school at the one-room Glascoe schoolhouse. At Cokato High School, Stanley excelled in baseball, and became known as a great pitcher. He graduated from Cokato High School in 1938.

After attending the University of Minnesota for a short time on a baseball scholarship, he signed a pro baseball contract with the St. Louis Browns, and spent the next couple of years pitching for various minor league teams in southern Wisconsin and southern Minnesota.

With the start of World War II, Stanley enlisted in the US Marine Corps and after boot camp, became an aircraft armorer serving with the First Marine Air Wing in the South Pacific, including Guadalcanal.

In 1946, Stanley met Irene Olson from Dassel, and they were married Nov. 16, 1946. They resided in a house on Mooers Avenue in Cokato and raised two sons, Gary and Craig.

Stanley worked as a carpenter in the Cokato area, and then started working as a fill-in policeman for the city of Cokato. When the police chief resigned in 1952, Stanley took the job. He was well known throughout the area as a “tough” cop, and respected for his dedication.

In 1965, Stanley applied to the US Secret Service for a position as a security guard for Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s residence in Waverly. Stanley spent the next 20 years with the Secret Service, serving with security detail for presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter, at Secret Service headquarters in Washington, DC, on security duty at the UN in New York, and driving the president’s limo. During this time, he and Irene lived in Coral Gables, Fla.; Alexandria, Va.; and Americus, Ga.

When Stanley retired in 1985, he and Irene moved to Leech Lake, near Walker, Minn., where they enjoyed living on the lake. With age, the lake home became too much, and they moved to a town home in Cokato.

Irene passed away in 2004, and shortly after, Stanley moved to Buffalo to be closer to his son, Craig and Craig’s wife, Katie, who cared for him constantly in his final years.

Stan, or Steve as he was also known, will be remembered for his love of hunting and fishing, his stories, woodworking, and drawings.

He was proud of his service in the Marine Corps, and was a 60-year member of the American Legion.

In addition to his sons, Stanley is survived by four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Monday, June 2 at 10 a.m. at Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, with the Rev. Steven Thorson officiating. Music was provided by Karen Anderson and Toni Thorson. Interment was in the church cemetery.

Visitation took place Sunday, June 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato, and continued Monday for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Casket bearers were Peter Stevenson, Brian Stevenson, Neil Mattson, Ron Nikkola, Chester Hume, and Richard Ramberg.

Arrangements were handled by the Swanson Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.